Tuesday, May 27, 2014


PLEASE NOTE - In "Cash in the Apple," I've updated the piece about Dr. Maya Angelou being to ill, to her death today. It is in red. Please revise the column accordingly. Thanks




By Cash Michaels

            On May 23rd, 2014, Dr. Maya Angelou tweeted, “Listen to your self, and in that quietude you may hear the voice of God.”
            It was her last message to the world. Five days later, on May 28th, the woman who wrote the groundbreaking autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,”
Was found dead in her Winston-Salem home.
            Dr. Angelou was 86.
            On Facebook, Angelou’s family said that the matriarch passed quietly before 8 a.m.
            Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love,” the statement continued.
            President Barack Obama offered his condolences from the White House:
            When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote that “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.”
            The president’s statement continued, “Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.  Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things – an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer.  But above all, she was a storyteller – and her greatest stories were true.  A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking – but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves.  In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya.”
            Pres. Obama concluded, “Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya.  With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer.  And while Maya’s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, “flung up to heaven” – and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring.
            North Carolina Congressman G. K. Butterfield  [D -12 – NC] wrote, ““This day is one of extreme sadness as we mourn the passing of renowned American poet, best-selling author, and revered civil and women’s rights activist, Dr. Maya Angelou.  Through her inspiring written work and commanding oratory skills, Maya Angelou touched the lives of countless people.  She dared women to be phenomenal and challenged us all to overcome adversity.  She was a voice for good and decency throughout the world.  I join millions of people today in mourning this tremendous loss.  I extend my deepest condolences to her family and take solace in her incredible legacy that will undoubtedly live on.”
            Indeed, Dr. Angelou had been suffering from an undisclosed illness for some time. Recently she canceled public appearances with Major League Baseball and in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
            Last month, she had to be hospitalized. However just last year, at the age of 85, Angelou maintained a full schedule of touring and speaking engagements.
            She was, in the words of one of her popular poems, a “phenomenal woman.”
            Born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Mo., was the second of eight children. It was her older brother, Bailey, who nicknamed her “Maya” to mean “my sister.”
            At age eight, after the breakup of her parents, Maya Angelou was brutally raped by her mother’s boyfriend. She told her family, and after the man was convicted and sentenced to one day in prison, her outraged family killed him.
So traumatic were these events, that the little Maya would not speak for six years, fearful that her words could bring death.
During this period, Angelou learned to appreciate literature, and reading the great authors like Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. Through the years, young Maya would learn music and dance, while surviving in jobs that ranged from being a streetcar conductor, to short order cook, to even a prostitute. By her teens, Maya had become a single mother, and did what she could to provide for herself and her son.
By the 1950s she married a Greek musician whose last name was “Angelos,” and joined the modern dance set with figures like Alvin Ailey and Ruth Beckford. After her marriage ended in 1954, Angelou danced and sang calypso music professionally in clubs, adopting the name, “Maya Angelou.” She later toured Europe in musicals like “Porgy and Bess, and recorded her first album in 1957 titled, “Miss Calypso.”
In 1959, Angelou moved to New York City to start her writing career , and a year later, she met civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who later made her Northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
In 1961, Angelou and her son moved to Egypt, where she became the associate editor of the English-language newspaper, The Arab Observer. She would go on to work in Ghana and Accra, where Angelou would meet and eventually work with Malcolm X, helping him found a new organization after he left the Nation of Islam.
Upon the assassinations of Malcolm and Dr. King, Angelou would find herself back in the arts, writing for television and films, and ultimately authoring her now classic awardwinning autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
She appeared on the Broadway stage and on television, most notably in “Roots,” the historic ABC-TV 1977 mini-series.
In the coming years until her death, Dr. Angelou would published seven autobiographical books; books of poetry; become the second poet in history to recite at a presidential inauguration (Pres. Clinton’s in 1993); accept the lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem; and be bestowed numerous awards and honors.
Upon news of her death, figures from the world of politics, literature and entertainment all hailed Dr. Angelou as the unique human being that she was.
            US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted, "Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise."—Maya Angelou, a truly phenomenal woman whose words will serve to lift our souls forever.”
            NAACP Chairwoman Roslyn Brock said, “Maya Angelou was a fearless writer, poet and activist who made the world a better place for her generation and those to follow. Her powerful words taught scores of young women, particularly those of color, to believe that they are phenomenal and that their voices should never be silenced. Dr. Angelou rose from poverty, segregation and violence to become a force on stage, screen and the printed page. Her legacy lives on in all of us.”
            Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority International Pres. Carolyn House Stewart said of her soror, ““As a poet, author, actress, advocate, humanitarian and dispenser of wisdom, Maya Angelou inspired and uplifted everyone she touched. In her words and deeds, she was fierce, courageous and bold. Most of all, and at her core, she radiated love. This rare ability to give and receive love will ultimately be the legacy she leaves the world.”
            National Action Network Pres. Rev. Al Sharpton wrote, ““Maya Angelou was the quintessential renaissance woman of the 20th century art and human rights movements. Not only was she a literary icon, she was one of the few that turned her words into action. Although she participated in civil rights rallies, she challenged leaders of the civil rights movement to embrace the struggles of others and a broader view of freedom fighting. She challenged misogyny in the movement and was our poet, conscience, teacher and corrector. She was one of the few people whose presence you felt in the room even if she didn’t say a word. Her spirit was incomparable.”
            Stars like Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker and Beyonce heralded her legacy.
            Saddened by the news of Maya Angelou's passing,” tweeted recording artist Pharrell Williams, whose hit song, “Happy” has rocked the charts. “A brilliant woman who contributed so much to the world.  Her light will be sorely missed.”
            Singer Kelly Rowland tweeted a famous quote from Dr. Angelou.
            "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - RIP Maya Angelou,” tweeted Rowland.
            CNN anchor Anderson Cooper called Dr. Angelou, “A true original.”
            Actor Forest Whitaker tweeted a famous Angelou quote, “"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."
            “American Idol” star Ryan Seacrest tweeted another famous quote, “"I've learned that you shouldn't go thru life w/ a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back."
            Rap Music legend Russell Simmons joined in the tributes, tweeting, “RIP to one of the greatest women this world has ever known.  Thank you Maya Angelou for all of the gifts and knowledge you gave us...”
            At press time, there were no details about funeral arrangements for Dr. Maya Angelou.


            Since last October, Interim WakeMed CEO Donald Gintzig has reportedly led the hospital system so effectively that this week, the Board of Directors decided, after a national search, to name the retired US Navy rear admiral the permanent CEO and president, replacing Bill Atkinson, who was forced out last September. Gintzig was a reservist until last October.  He previously served as a hospital systems CEO in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Texas and Minnesota. The board decided a change was needed after WakeMed suffered its first financial loss in 2013.

            A Durham judge has ordered a new trial for a man convicted in the 1991 murders of a mother and daughter because of new evidence suggesting misconduct by a Durham police detective, and prosecutor Mike Nifong. Nifong was the Durham District Attorney who was accused of falsifying evidence in the infamous Duke lacrosse rape case in 2006. In 1991, he was still an assistant DA, and is now accused of falsely linking Darryl Howard to the deaths of Doris Washington and her 13-year-old daughter. Howard is currently serving eighty years in prison for the crimes that he has always maintained he is innocent of. The new exculpatory evidence, discovered by the Innocence Project, suggests both victims were sexually assaulted, and new DNA analysis points to another suspect. Howard’s convictions have been vacated, and the state has 30 days to appeal.


            [RALEIGH] Fourteen members of the Moral Monday movement were arrested and charged early Wednesday morning with second-degree trespassing after they refused to leave the office of House Speaker Thom Tillis in the NC Legislative Building. They had camped out in the speaker’s office for over ten hours, refusing to leave until they spoke with Tillis, despite constant threats of arrest by Capitol police. At around 1:45 a.m., the fourteen were peacefully arrested, and taken to jail, where they stayed until they were bailed out. Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP and leader of the Moral Monday Movement, said that they would actively challenge the ‘repressive’ laws the Republican-led Legislature was passing.

            [WILMINGTON] After spending more than six years in prison, former state House Rep. Thomas Wright was released from a facility in Wilmington early Monday morning. He will now serve the next nine months under post release supervision. Wright, who was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice charges in 2008, was later expelled from office by the NC House, where he had served for eight terms. Reports say while Wright intends to involve himself in community projects, he has no intention of running for public office again.

            [HOUSTON, TX] The Houston, Texas Independent School District is sponsoring a job fair this Saturday in Raleigh, hoping to attract many disgruntled North Carolina teachers to signup to move to the Lone Star state. With low teacher pay and the elimination of teacher tenure major issues in North Carolina right now, the largest school district in Texas believes offering a starting salary of $46,805 will entice Tar Heel teachers who make 20 percent less to pack their bags. The job fair is at the Doubletree Brownstone Hotel on Hillsborough Street.

CASH IN THE APPLE 5-29-14 (with picture}
By Cash Michaels


GOODBYE, ISAIAH – It is always a shock when you hear that a good friend has died. Such was the case when I was informed last weekend that Isaiah Murray, Sr., son to the mother of our community, Mrs. Margaret Rose Murray, had died on May 22nd, reportedly due to cancer.
“Ike,” as many called him, was a young 58. His great smile and spirit was only surpassed by his mother, and father, Imam Kenneth Murray-Muhammad, who died in 2005.
Ike was a well-known radio personality in Detroit, Michigan for many years. He was also a well-versed professional in television production, public relations and business as well. When he came back home to Raleigh in 2011 to help run The Vital Link Private Schools with his mother, Ike also cohosted Ms. Murray’s “Traces of Faces and Places” in WSHA-FM, Shaw University radio.
Frequently I would get emails from Ike about various issues and concerns in the community. Last October he sent me a newsletter about a new farmers’ market being sponsored in Southeast Raleigh where citizens could get fresh produce at low prices under the family’s “Marrkens” banner. He was also leading efforts to start a culinary school.
On Jan. 1st, 2013, Ike sent me an email wishing a great New Year and, “…Great job leading the charge for the Wilmington Ten.”
That meant a lot.
Ike was a man of positive energy and great vision, whose zeal to work in and serve the community, making it a better place, was a chip off the old blocks of Kenneth and Margaret Rose Murray, his beloved parents. So the sadness Tuesday was profound as the many friends, colleagues and family of the Murrays came together at As-Salaam Islamic Center of Raleigh to share in Ike’s homegoing.
This was a kind, brilliant and visionary man who will be deeply missed by all in the community. On behalf of my family, our deepest condolences to Mrs. Margaret Rose Murray, her son Kenneth, daughter Rhonda, and the rest of the Murray-Muhammad family.
Goodbye, Ike.
*******DR. ANGELOU DIES - As we went to press Wednesday, came the sad news of the death of Dr. Maya Angelou. An awardwinning author, poetess, actress, singer, producer, and yes, scholar, Dr. Angelou was a giant among giants, someone who spoke out for the rights of black people having worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and yet, advocated for peace, love and compassion for all of mankind. 
We deeply miss her already. Dr. Angelou was 86.
CONGRATULATIONS TISHA POWELL – Last week, WTVD-11 news anchor Tisha Powell and her husband, James, welcomed the birth of a beautiful baby girl named Evangeline Jaymes. May GOD’s blessings always be with this family.
NUTS - His name is Raynard Jackson. He is a proud negro Republican who writes a weekly column that appears in some black newspapers across the country (none of the ones I work for, thank GOD). In my opinion, he writes some pretty outrageous pieces bashing Pres. Obama, the Democrats, and just about anyone negro GOP'ers typically have a problem with.  
But recently Jackson wrote a column titled "WHY BLACK MEN NEED MORE WHITE WOMEN." No, it's not what you think:
"...Black men need more White women like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. Even though they are conservative media personalities, they have done more to promote the well-being of Black males than many of the very women who stridently complain about the lack of “eligible” Black men."
Calling Coulter "a friend", later in the piece Jackson writes, "Historically, Black women have been notoriously protective of their men and children. It is ironic that Coulter and Ingraham, two conservative White women, are now assuming that role. We Black men need more White women like Coulter and Ingraham, not Black women who will give a pass to a failing Black president."
To make a long story short, Jackson argues that black women have failed black men because they support the policies of Pres. Obama, which he argues have crippled the black community by way of unemployment and other issues. So he promotes the b.s. that Coulter and Ingraham have been pushing per the GOP agenda.
What strikes me - and there's no question this was deliberate - is Jackson's affront to black women that if they really love their black men and families, they'll think more like these two intolerant conservative BS artists!
I posted this on Facebook earlier this week, and the many reactions were strong.
“Mary” wrote, “I think that he is an idiot. Period. He would never give dating advice to any male that I know. I really want to say something else but I'm keeping it legal.”
“Lucera” wrote, “On the one hand, such flagrant and disrespectful garbage calls for a response. On the other hand, responding to this...person...feels too much like wallowing in filth.”
And “Katherine” summed it all up by calling Raynard Jackson’s piece, “ Total garbage.”
It is truly amazing that this clown (Jackson) thinks he’s writing something profound. That’s why it’s so hard to get on the same page with some negro Republicans. Anybody who says they’re friends with Ann Coulter has definitely got some screws loose!
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.myWAUG.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.


                                         CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS

by George E. Curry
NNPA Editor-in-Chief

WASHINGTON (NNPA) - Though he is not among the Who’s Who of national civil rights advocates, attorney Cornell William Brooks feels his entire life has prepared him to become president and CEO of the national NAACP. He graduated from Jackson State University in Mississippi with honors, earned a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in systematic theology from Boston University School of Theology– where Dr. Martin Luther King earned his Ph.D. in the same area of study – and graduated from Yale Law School, serving as a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and a member of the Yale Law and Policy Review.

After serving as a law clerk for Judge Sam J. Irvin III on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Brooks’ first job was as an attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law headed by Barbara Arnwine. He later worked as an attorney for the Justice Department, a senior attorney for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and was executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington, D.C.
His most recent job was as president of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, a Newark-based organization founded in 1999 by the Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein Foundation. According to its website, the institute seeks to expand economic opportunity for people of color and low-come residents; promotes holding local, state and regional government accountable for fulfilling the needs of urban residents and protects the civil rights of the disadvantaged.
“When you look at the arc of my career, it has not been singular or linear in focus, but really touched on many of the challenges facing the country – whether it be in business, the criminal justice system, the juvenile justice system, the housing market – so I think I bring a multi-dimensional, multi-disciplined, multi-faceted focus on work,” Brooks said. “That does not make me unique, but perhaps distinctive.”
Brooks will need that and more to be successful as the 18th president of the NAACP.
The 5-page job description developed by The Hollins Group, the NAACP-contracted search firm based in Chicago, noted among the specific job responsibilities: “Work closely with the Chairman and the Board and be responsible for developing the organization’s U.S. private sector fundraising plan and growing its annual income and membership by 20%. This also will include expanding both staff and operations with an emphasis on building a larger base of private sector support and establishing an endowment.”
According to the job description marked “confidential,” the Baltimore-based NAACP has a staff of 100 and an annual budget of $42 million. However, the organization is deeply in debt and recently cut its staff by 7 percent.
Brooks has never managed a staff that large. The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice had a total of 19 staff members and a budget of $2.08 million. Its primary income was equally divided between government grants and investments, each bringing in approximately $350,000 annually.
Beyond the fiscal challenge, the expectation that Brooks can grow membership by 20 percent a year is considered a lofty goal for an organization that has long been secretive about its membership numbers.
Brooks seemed confident that he can attract young people to the nation’s oldest – in longevity and by average age of members – civil rights organization.
“It’s been my model, if you will, to engage young people, not by deputizing and delegating to them, but charging them with being co-creators of public policy,” he said. “In work I’ve done thus far, we were not engaged in bringing young people to the kiddie table. We bring them to the conference table as co-creators of reform and it works. It’s easy to get people excited about the work when they’re doing the work. They are not, in effect, junior anything in the movement.”
At 53, Brooks, who grew up in Georgetown, S.C., feels he is uniquely positioned to serve as a magnet for young people.
“I represent not just the younger end of the Baby Boomer generation, but the older end of the hip-hop generation,” he explained. “In other words, I came of age musically with R&B yet with hip-hop because it was born when I was in college.”
When pressed to share his vision for the NAACP, Brooks repeatedly declined, saying that’s something he will present when he addresses the NAACP membership at its July convention in Las Vegas. However, he said clues can be found in his past activities.
He has worked on numerous issues including small businesses, civil rights litigation, assisting ex-offenders by getting companies to not ask about past incarceration on employment applications, Black colleges, churches, education, housing, criminal justice issues, training women for nontraditional jobs, and politics.
Brooks, who still maintains a house in Virginia, ran for Congress in 1998 as the Democratic nominee for the 10th District in Virginia, but was soundly defeated in the general election by Republican Frank Wolf. He was a member of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2010 transition team, but is quick to add that he was appointed to various local and state posts, including the board of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, by Democrats as well.
“My grandfather, Rev. James Prioleau, in the 40s ran for Congress in the 6th Congressional District of South Carolina,” said Brooks, a fourth-generation ordained minister and an associate pastor at Turner Memorial AME Church in Hyattsville, Md. “He ran for Congress not because he thought he could win, but rather because he wanted to register African Americans to vote and enlist in and engage in the membership of the NAACP. That legacy is part of my moral DNA.”
With the upcoming mid-term elections and the passing of voting laws that adversely impact Blacks, some critics worry that Brooks will not be able to hit the ground running when he assumes office in July. However, he strongly disagrees.
“I think I am well prepared to do the work,” he said confidently. “I am as confident in my colleagues as I am my own abilities. I don’t think I’ll have any problem hitting the ground running simply because there are a lot of folks running with me.”

No comments:

Post a Comment